Internet Searching for Pornography- Mortal or Venial?


#1

Would this sin be mortal or venial?

Suppose a person has been chaste for several weeks and has firmly resolved not to commit the sins of masturbation and pornography.
One day, while watching a harmless YouTube video about search engines, he comes upon a comment that raises his curiosity; he hears that a certain search engine yields “better results” for porn searches than another popular engine that the person has used on previous occasions.
Out of sheer curiosity, he decides to search for porn on the search engine just to see what results come up. Before doing so, he tells himself that he will not actually watch porn, and has no intent to do so; he also knows, however, that he is exposing himself to a temptation, but he pushes this concern to the side.
Unexpectedly, the search engine displays actually pornographic images rather than just links. This concerns him, but he makes several searches anyways, trying to satisfy his curiosity while avoiding the images. After a few searches, however, he finds himself getting aroused and, feeling guilty, decides to close the browser.
After the act has been completed, the person feels guilty and believes they have committed a sin, but they are unsure of that sin’s gravity.

Is there intent, consent, and knowledge?


#2

Searching for links with “better results” would probably tempt that person. Why was the person looking for better results for porn if he was not going to watch it? Would that not just remind him of previous memories of going on those sites? He should have just not searched for it at all, but not clicking out would gravely wrong. When he first got on there he did not know about those images, but when he kept searching he knew that the search yielded those images and that it could possibly do it again. There was not ignorance the second time. My guess would be it was a sin because searching for better results with that stuff is not pure, but double check with your priest.


#3

So would it be a mortal sin because the person intentionally exposed themselves to pornography, even if they weren’t intending to engage with it?

I know that viewing pornography is always a grave sin, but to what degree must a person engage with the pornography that is before them for them to have “viewed it?”

Also, would the search itself be a mortal sin because they person pursued a curiosity related to their sexual interests rather than suppressing it?


#4

This person is free to ignore the “better results for porn” search engine. Satan is a slick little stinker who likes to get his foot in the door to draw us into sin. This person would be wise to mention this in the confessional.

I can guarantee you, there were several evil spirits present while this was going on. Been there, done that. Always keep your computer free from all effects of pornography.


#5

Well if they had a good reason to look for it (like law enforcers looking for people doing it illegally) that would be one thing. One should not intentionally expose to themselves to something like that especially when they have a past history of that sin. That would be intentionally tempting yourself in a way.

Somebody watching a video having absolutely no idea it contains porn( idk how that would happen ) and it comes up and that person closes the video, and quickly turns their mind elsewhere would not be guilty. They were ignorant. Someone intentionally searching for it is not ignorant


#6

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.